Spatial Analyses of Air Pollutants Concentration around the Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company (WRPC), Delta State, Nigeria
This study investigates air pollution from the Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company (WRPC) of Delta Sate, Nigeria with the intent of determining the variations in pollution levels associated with increasing distance from the refinery. The following pollutant gases: Carbon monoxide (CO), Volatile organic compounds (VOC), Hydrogen sulphide (H2S), Nitrogen dioxide (NO2), Sulphur dioxide (SO2) and Particulate Matter (PM2.5 and PM10), were monitored intermittently with the use of digital hand-held probes, at sampling points located between 1,500 meters to 16,000 meters from WRPC. Air sampling was carried out on a weekly basis, for a duration of one (1) year. The average annual concentration of CO, VOC, H2S, NO2, SO2, PM2.5 and PM10 measured were 0.2543 ppm, 4.4922 mg/m3, 0.0004 ppm, 0.0063 ppm, 0.5263 ppm, 36.3825 µg/m3, 91.7346 µg/m3 respectively. The results of the spatial analyses of air pollutants show that concentrations of VOC, NO2, PM2.5, and PM10 shared a significant inverse relationship with distance (p values 0.00 ≤.0.05). The study suggests a minimum of 10,250 meters radial extent of buffers around WRPC, as a long-term strategy in reducing exposure of residents to air pollution. Short-term strategies include enforcement of legislation reducing/banning emissions from industries and bush fires, use of alternative eco-friendly technologies and energy sources, tree planting, revamp of the hydroelectricity power sector and general sanitization of the environment.